Miles of smiles for Milan’s Community Day

Milan’s Recreation Park was taken over by huge smiles amid bright sunshine on Community Day Sept. 28. Food, fun and frolic were the order of the day.

And everybody had something special to say. (To view photos of the day, go to our Facebook page: Milan’s Community Day 2013)

After Marion Mathison sang “God Bless America,” with George Carrothers accompanying her on the trumpet, Town Supervisor William Gallagher officially opened the ceremonies at 11am in the park pavilion. In his remarks, he noted, “Everyone worked very hard to put this on, and I’m calling it a success. It’s our second year to award the Milan Citizen of the Year — Milan Councilman Jack Campisi — and the four Milan Beautification awards.”

Ann Mancini and her husband, Rocco, organized the Antique Car Show, which this year featured a dozen pristine vehicles of varying ages and colors. “We’ve been doing it for three or four years now. I drove the ‘37 Buick, but I can tell you stories about all of them,” Ann said. “We advertised to find the 1950 Buick with the ‘bucktooth’ front grill, and a woman responded who lived in New Orleans… just before Katrina. We bought it and maybe saved this car from being lost in that tragedy.”

Jackie Reynolds, who’s well-known as performance artist BeeBee The Clown, entertained the crowd as Jackie the Magician. She noted what made the day special: “We are a small town that comes together as volunteers to make things happen. Milan Community Day has really grown in the past few years. It has a great car show, and this year a farmers market and a flea market now. The Fire Department and Rescue Squad always are a big part of the day. We get to see and learn about what they do. People don’t know how they do all the things they do at an accident scene or emergency. This is a chance to understand it better.”

Carl Sardaro has served 50 years with the Milan Volunteer Fire Department and still works with the Support Squad. He proudly noted his strong family history with the department: “I moved up here from Brooklyn, and when my kids got old enough, they wanted to join the fire department, and now my grandchildren are joining.”

Charles and Kim Godfrey of Second Chance Farm organized the weekly Farmers’ Market held at Town Hall every Friday from 3-7 pm. They are pleased with its success: “We bought our place about nine years ago with one horse. [Supervisor] Bill Gallagher asked me last fall about putting together a farmers’ market. We worked all winter on it. It started slow, but now it’s good and growing. Vendors sell out, and we’re going to start a winter market on the first and third Fridays of the month.”

Recreation Committee chair Keith Wheeler commented on Community Day: “This is my third year of organizing this. I think it’s growing with each year. Everything is free! Anybody and everybody is invited, because we’re a community.” ( Even 100 Norwegian Spruce tree saplings were free, courtesy of Red Wing Sand and Gravel.)

New York State Trooper Lombardi of Troop K brought K-9 trooper Dora, the German Shepherd, for a show-and-tell. “Dora is trained in narcotics detection and tracking and handler protection,” Lombardi said. “All dogs are donated and go through a thorough testing process.”

Ethel Barone of Red Hook Farm on Hapeman Hill Road brought along tiny Domino, the baby goat, who keeps her company at her stand at the Milan Farmers’ Market. She noted, “When we local farmers participate in events like Milan Community Day, sometimes we tie the poles of our tents together in case we get hit with some strong wind.”

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